Bermuda based global insurance and reinsurance group AXIS Capital Holdings Ltd. has been busy launching new initiatives in recent days. First it announced the launch of its third-party capital and capital markets initiative last week and now this week it has announced a new Weather and Commodity Markets unit.
The new Weather and Commodity Markets initiative will sit within AXIS’ reinsurer AXIS Re. Today Axis has announced two senior hires who will co-head the new unit, Dr. Edgar Bautista and Mr. Sandeep Ramachandran who will both take on roles as Senior Vice Presidents and co-heads of the weather and commodity risk focused unit.
Between them, Bautista and Ramachandran will be tasked with setting up and managing AXIS Re’s efforts in global weather and energy reinsurance and risk transfer. Both join AXIS Capital from their most recent roles at Morgan Stanley, where they established a weather and outage risk management team within Morgan Stanley’s Commodities business.
Commenting on the new business initiative and the two hires, Jay Nichols, CEO of AXIS Re, said; “I am excited to welcome Edgar and Sandeep to the AXIS Re team. The global weather and commodity related risk markets have seen significant growth over the past decade. This new business is highly complementary to our current portfolio and further expands our product offering. Our product suite will include reinsurance, insurance and financial products offered on a global basis. We look forward to Edgar and Sandeep’s combined contributions to help position us to actively participate in these important markets.”
The two hires have extremely well-respected profiles in the weather, energy and commodity risk transfer and management markets, as you’ll see from the descriptions of their background’s below. AXIS has hired two people who will bring a wealth of experience and contacts to this new business initiative which should help it to gain a foothold, in what can be a very competitive market, quickly.
Dr. Bautista has nineteen years of experience in capital markets with a focus on weather risk management, commodity markets and the modelling of natural hazard. Before Morgan Stanley, he was a Director, Client Markets in the Weather and Energy unit of Swiss Re Corporate Solutions. Prior to that he was a Senior Vice President at PartnerRe Ltd. where he successfully set up its Weather Business Unit. Dr. Bautista has also held senior underwriting, risk management and research positions at Aquila Energy, GE Capital, Applied Insurance Research (“AIR Worldwide”) and the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University.
Mr. Ramachandran has 15 years of experience in the weather and energy risk management sectors. Before Morgan Stanley, Mr. Ramachandran was one part of the team that established the weather and outage business in the capital markets unit at Swiss Re where he held the position of Director and Head of Weather and Electricity Outage Protection Products. He held a seat on the Board of Directors of the Weather Risk Management Association in 2007, and served as its Treasurer through August 2011.
It will be interesting to see how AXIS integrates the two new initiatives of capital markets and weather & commodity. The two areas have a lot of synergies and with experienced people hired to lead each unit we could see some interesting products and risk transfer opportunities come out of AXIS in the future.